Main content start

The Next Frontier is Your Mind: Neurotechnologies, Human Rights, and the Battle for Your Brain

Tue May 14th 2024, 4:30 - 6:00pm
Event Sponsor
Center for Human Rights and International Justice
Law School
559 Nathon Abbott Way, Stanford, CA 94305

Emerging technologies are evolving at an astonishing pace. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the field of neurotechnology, which refers to devices capable of recording, interpreting, or altering brain activity. Neurotechnology has long been used in scientific settings, pioneering both brain research and medical breakthroughs; in recent years, neurotechnology has allowed patients with paralysis to regain the ability to communicate, and helped blind people reclaim partial vision. Recently, neurotechnology has expanded beyond medical settings into the consumer world, with a host of products entering the market that allow consumers and companies to access intimate brain data. Among others, these products include brain training kits, sleep aids, devices that track levels of focus, and toy helicopters that consumers fly using concentration.  This brings great promise of innovation and development, but also pressing concerns, particularly given privacy risks, rapid advances in the capacity to decode brain scans using generative AI, and the possibility of mental interference. 

In the Center for Human Rights and International Justice’s Annual Public Lecture, international human rights lawyer Jared Genser will discuss the unique human rights challenges posed by neurotechnologies.  Speaking as co-founder and General Counsel of the "Neurorights" Foundation, Genser will examine the ways in which neurotechnology has the potential to change what it means to be human. In particular, he will discuss how the loss of mental privacy and the risk of mental manipulation present challenges that were previously unimagined and which demand immediate action. He will explore the implications of neurotechnology on existing legal, ethical, and regulatory regimes, pulling directly from his experience advising the United Nations, industry partners, and governments around the world. As a way forward, Genser will introduce the notion of “neurorights”, which involves further interpreting existing human rights law to safeguard the right to mental integrity, the right to mental agency, the right to mental privacy, the right to fair access to mental augmentation, and the right to protection from algorithmic bias.The neurorights movement, he will argue, is necessary to prevent against the misuse and abuse of neurotechnology before it’s too late.

Speaker Biography:

Jared Genser, an esteemed international human rights lawyer for over twenty years, serves as Managing Director of Perseus Strategies, a public interest law firm, and as Special Advisor on the Responsibility to Protect to the Organization of American States, while also acting as outside General Counsel to the Neurorights Foundation. Referred to as "The Extractor'' by the New York Times for his global efforts in freeing political prisoners, Genser has provided pro bono counsel to five Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, including Aung San Suu Kyi, Liu Xiaobo, and Ales Bialiatski. 

His career spans partnerships at DLA Piper LLP, management consulting with McKinsey & Company, and teaching positions at Georgetown University Law Center, University of Pennsylvania Law School, and University of Michigan Law School. He has held prestigious fellowships at Harvard University's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and the National Endowment for Democracy, and was named one of "40 Under 40: Washington's Rising Stars" by the National Law Journal. 

Genser is the founder of Freedom Now, an NGO dedicated to freeing prisoners of conscience worldwide. He holds degrees from Cornell University, Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the University of Michigan Law School. 

An accomplished author and editor, Genser has received numerous awards, including the American Bar Association’s International Human Rights Award and the Tällberg Eliasson Global Leadership Prize, and is actively engaged in various professional associations.

This event is co-sponsored by the Stanford Immigration and Human Right Law Association.  

To view a map of room 290 at the Stanford Law School follow this link.